What was the one thing that stood out to me the most about the Summit? Probably my small group leader. I could describe her as pretty, athletic, and super fun, but those would probably give you the wrong impression (even though they’re true). The first day, I found a hand written note in my note binder. My small group leader wrote it to welcome me to The Summit. It was really sweet! She wrote some great recommendations for things to do and it really made me feel welcome.
My small group leader was one of the most influential parts of the Summit in my life. The first few days I didn’t trust her that much, but she kept checking on me, and making sure I was ok. She always stopped by to say goodnight before I went to sleep, and invested in my life a little bit at a time from the day I met her. By the third or fourth day, however, I learned to trust her. I don’t remember exactly when it was, but at one point I decided that I had a question, and I was gonna take a chance on asking her what she thought.
I had tried to be open in small group, but I wasn’t very. I was just open enough to feel like I had shared, but that was not enough to let anyone try to speak truth into my life. Thankfully, though, I had opened up enough to give my small group leader a bit of a background for my question. I nervously sent her a text on the first Friday: “Hey, are you at the hotel?” She wasn’t. I asked her if we could meet for dinner when she got back, but that wasn’t possible (she was meeting with another girl in my small group). Instead, she said she could meet me after dinner, and before the “porch chat.”* We ended up meeting during the porch chat, and I’m glad we did, because it gave us more time. That was one of the deepest conversations I have ever had. She really helped me sort through a lot of stuff.
The interesting thing to me was that it wasn’t just her. What stands out to me the most about my small group leader is how much she loves God. I know that He was working through her. Now, because of our talk, I learned to trust my small group leader a lot. In fact, I trust her as much, if not more than my mentor, and all the other ladies that I go to for advice.** She is such a good example of what it means to serve God, and let Him work through you.
I guess you could say that three things about my small group leader stuck out to me the most. First, she was a good example. If I ever wondered what it meant to love God or others, my small group leader answered those questions through how she lived. One night, when she thought we weren’t looking, she started writing love notes to God in small group (the rest of us had projects that she had assigned to us to work on). Also, she was always looking for ways to make us feel loved. She showed us what it meant to be a Christian leader. She did lots of little things, like writing the note she left for me, to make us feel welcome. Second, she prayed – a lot. She prayed with me individually, with my small group collectively, and she prayed for us when we were all asleep. My small group leader’s job at Summit was sort of unique. She was on nightwatch. So in addition to being our small group leader, she would stay up all night to scare off bears and hippies! But she also did chores around the hotel, walked rounds around the hotel every hour, and prayed. One day she half mentioned something to me – there is a place that nightwatch goes to pray over the Summit each night. I don’t know what exactly they’re praying about, but I did know that they were praying for us. Thirdly, my small group leader just loves God. I know I already said this, but it’s really true. Sometimes I struggle with loving God, and I also have a hard time noticing how much others love Him too. Even so, I couldn’t deny how much my small group leader loves God. She was such a good example of what it means to love our Heavenly Father. I just hope I learn to love Him like that one day.
My small group leader means a lot to me. I’m going to try my best to keep up with her, as well as with my other friends from Summit. (I think my next post will be about those girls, the friends I made). Summit is so helpful! And in my case, God worked through my small group leader to help change my trajectory. I learned how to be vulnerable, lead by example, and trust God more. Even if the path I was on changed by a difference of a few centimeters, I’m still thankful.
*Porch chats, also known as open forums, are when one of the speakers from our the day sits on the front porch and answers any questions we have. They were one of my favorite parts of the Summit.
**This list includes my mom, of course 🙂 I just have about two or three (now four) ladies that I trust with my questions and struggles.